Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Special Education and Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Member

Lidia Lee, Ph.D., CCC-A

Committee Member

Audrey Farrugia, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Sally Burton-Hoyle, Ed.D.


This thesis consists of three journal articles for publication that addresses three different aspects of the research that examines the state of diversity in the field of speech-language pathology (SLP) as it pertains to autistic representation and possible implications. In the first article, Demographic Analysis of Autistic Speech-Language Pathologists, the purpose was to determine the demographic differences between SLPs that identified on the autism spectrum and those that did not. A mass survey was conducted of SLPs in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. It was concluded that 2.98% of SLPs self-identified on the autism spectrum. Chi-square analyses found statistically significant differences in gender, pronouns, and preference for disability accommodations. In article 2, Clinical Tendencies of Autistic Speech-Language Pathologists, the purpose of this study was to compare autistic and non-autistic SLPs’ clinical tendencies toward autistic clients. A mass survey was conducted of SLPs in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio; in addition, autistic SLPs were recruited from online communities. Chi-square analyses found significant differences in preferences for autism assessments and interventions, clientcentered practice, and anti-autism stigma, but no significant differences were observed in rapport/progress and knowledge of autism. In article 3, Clinical Correlates of Speech-Language Pathologist Autism Preferences, the primary purpose of this study was to draw correlations between SLP preferences for particular autism assessments/interventions and preferences in clinical practice using the same set of data. Aggregated responses were analyzed using Spearman’s correlations and indicated weak associations between autism assessments/interventions and measures of self-reported client-centeredness, client rapport and progress, anti-autism stigma, and knowledge about autism.